Statement on fire and toxic cloud in Matanzas, Cuba

10 AUGUST 2022 – CARE is closely monitoring an evolving situation in Cuba, where lightning struck a storage tank of crude oil at the Matanzas Super Tanker Base, 55 miles east of Havana, causing a large fire and explosion. At this time 4,000+ people have been evacuated, 120+ people are injured, and many firefighters are missing. CARE Cuba is supporting a local partner based in Matanzas to collect and deliver food to people in shelters.

A cloud of toxic smoke is now moving into the country’s western provinces where people have been advised to wear masks and stay indoors. Long power cuts, due to petroleum shortages, are making the situation more difficult, with fans and AC not working while there is a current peak in dengue cases. Ongoing food insecurity issues, bolstered by the Global Food Crisis, in the country pose increased risks for vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls.

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About CARE Cuba: 

CARE has been working in Cuba since 1995. 

From an initial focus on food and agriculture, work has expanded over the years to focus on community resilience, inclusive economic development, social inclusion, and humanitarian response. All of CARE Cuba’s work is done through local partners and strives to promote gender equality and the rights and participation of women and vulnerable groups.

About CARE Canada:

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls. Equipped with the proper resources women and girls have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. In 2020, CARE worked in over 100 countries, reaching more than 90 million people through 1,300 projects.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit www.care.ca